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Friday, August 5, 2011

Clipper E-Cash Accepted on Cable Cars Starting August 8th

If you can dream, so can Clipper...

In the past, Cable Car conductors could only verify if a card user has a valid pass, but they could not deduct e-cash to pay for the one-way fare.

Effective Monday, August 8th, Muni's famous Cable Cars will also accept Clipper e-cash!

This is a cool thing Muni will do, but be warned... conductors will yank $6 of e-cash and you won't have the option to purchase a day pass. If you have a Muni monthly pass, no e-cash will be deducted as your pass gives you the right to ride Cable Cars. Also, the senior/disabled discount fare during late/early hours won't work with e-cash as it needs to be paid with dollar bills.

The old rules still apply: If you transfer from BART to a Cable Car, you don't get a 25 cent discount for the Cable Car ride, and if you have BART high value discount tickets on your Clipper card, it's not valid on Cable Cars unless if you also have e-cash loaded to your card.

OK, I took care of the good news, here comes the bad:
Due to Clipper's negative balance policy: Passengers can save $1 on their Cable Car ride if they go to a Clipper card vendor or the Powell vending machine and just buy the minimum e-cash for a Clipper card of just $5; let the card go negative after the first deduction and dump the card in the trash. A passenger could try to load $7 and rip-off the system by saving $5 by going round-trip, or even load a card with $6.05 to be extra nasty.

I wish Clipper fixed this dumb negative balance policy. Now there's another way to rip-off the system.


Mark Taylor said...

I am glad they are finally going to accept Clipper e-cash on cable cars! I only take them once in a while (just for the heck of it). But as you note the downside is the $6.00 hit on the card.

If I wanted to make a roundtrip and then catch a bus (to Caltrain), I probably would rather buy one of those daily passes (passports, I think). Otherwise I would spend $12 for the cable car and then $2-4 on a bus ride to/ from cable car area. Cheaper with passport overall.

jr195 said...

I took the metro the other day and got on a cable car half an hour later -- noticed I was charged the $2 for the metro ride and $6 for the cable car. Not thinking this was right and that I should get a $2 transfer credit, I called Clipper to ask what the policy was. The agent didn't know but "thinks" I'm right, is going to research and get back to me.

Akit said...

jr195: You don't get a "$2 transfer credit" because you don't have the ability to get a free or discounted ride on the Cable Car.

The way you were charged from riding the metro to Cable Car is correct, $2 for metro, $6 for Cable Car.

It's the same if you paid cash to ride the metro and take the Cable Car, the paper transfer from the metro is not honored on the Cable Car.